Virginia House Approves Bill Requiring School Holidays on Election Day

Virginia House Approves Bill Requiring School Holidays on Election Day

“It’s impossible for the schools to properly screen each individual entering the building without slowing down the voting lines,” said Del. Paul Krizek, D-Fairfax, patron of House Bill 1752. “This creates a security concern because it potentially allows strangers unwarranted access to the school building.”

The Virginia House of Delegates voted Tuesday to require all public schools to treat Election Day as a school holiday. The goal of House Bill 1752 is to prevent interactions between voters and children to keep students safe.

“It’s impossible for the schools to properly screen each individual entering the building without slowing down the voting lines,” said Del. Paul Krizek, D-Fairfax, patron of House Bill 1752. “This creates a security concern because it potentially allows strangers unwarranted access to the school building.”

Many school systems have special schedules on Election Day that keep students at home, but under the proposed law, local school leaders would not be able to keep school buildings open to students during voting.

The bill only applies to general elections in November, which attract the most voters. Separate legislation, also filed for school safety purposes, would move June primaries to a date after schools are dismissed for the summer.

HB 1752 doesn’t require schools to shut down entirely, only to close campuses to students. Schools would be able to hold teacher work days during an election, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The House also voted to approve other school safety measures to improve security plans, training and relationships with law enforcement. Another bill passed by the house would require school counselors to spend 80 percent of their time during school hours on direct interaction with students.

The Senate rejected its version of the bill on Monday, according to WHSV3.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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